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Published on November 26, 2015 | by Danielle Edwards     Photography by Jgaray

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Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada plays large role in Canadian politics

“I think Canada would be a very different place, to tell you the truth, if it wasn’t for the Marxist-Leninist party,” said Anna Di Carlo.

The leader of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, Di Carlo herself only got 232 votes in her riding of Etobicoke North in the recent election the party on the whole has never made much of a mark politically, but she says that the Marxist-Leninists are still important to Canada.

Di Carlo was first introduced to the party, then led by Hardial Bains, in the ‘70s at the University of Guelph. At the time, there was a great deal of unrest surrounding racial attacks on East and West Indians. Di Carlo said that the prevailing opinion at the time was that the racist attacks were simply carried out by “bad people.” The Marxist-Leninist party, however, presented an alternative outlook that “racism was organised by the establishment, by the state,” said Di Carlo.

Di Carlo was at first skeptical of the party’s allegations, but changed her mind after looking more closely at the attacks. “People who were being attacked would go to the police and they wouldn’t get help,” said Di Carlo. “In some cases people who resisted racist attacks were arrested themselves.”

In the midst of these racial tensions, the party was responsible for rallying against organizations whose goal was to keep Canada “white”.

That party lead a “broad movement to not allow them to get a foothold in the country,” said Di Carlo.

That awareness coupled with Di Carlo’s own experiences as a member of an Italian family that faced racial discrimination, spurred Di Carlo to join the party. She is now the leader of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada and has been since 2008.

For Di Carlo, the party’s ambition to “raise the political level of Canadians” went a long way in helping Canadians fight to be heard when faced with unjust circumstances. Di Carlo calls the party’s actions “heroic” in retrospect.

Di Carlo said the views presented by the party concerning racism had a real impact on how racism is viewed today. “Even the concept that racism is an invention of the state wasn’t common thinking then compared to what it is now,” she said.

As the party’s national leader, Di Carlo said its focus is to politicise the public. According to Di Carlo, too few people are fluent in political matters and as a result the level of politics in Canada has deteriorated over time.

At this point, the party has little to no presence on the political stage. Di Carlo said that that the problem with the lack of exposure for smaller parties lies with the current political system.

“It marginalizes not just the small political parties like ourselves, but the whole policy if you ask me. People are simply marginalized from the system, except for the parties that represent the established financially wealthy.”

Di Carlo said that the ultimate goal of the party is to give a voice to the working class, whom the party argues has been marginalized by government. “I think that’s what being human is: fighting for what you think is needed. If we aren’t fighting for social progress to take place, you lose a lot of your humanity.”

 

*Photo by Jgaray used by license.

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About the Author

is a third-year media student at the University of Guelph-Humber. She is an avid reader and enjoys writing in her spare time. She aspires to be an investigative journalist.



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